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National Evaluation of Weed and Seed: Las Vegas Case Study

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1999
57 pages
Publication Series
This report on the evaluation of Las Vegas' Weed and Seed Program, as part of a national evaluation of eight selected sites, focuses on the case study objective and methodology, site history and description, program structure and chronology, key implementation issues and interpretation, the effects of the program, and future directions and degree of institutionalization.
Unveiled in 1991, the ultimate goals of Weed and Seed are to control violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug-related crime in targeted high-crime neighborhoods and to provide a safe environment free of crime and drug use. Three objectives emphasize the government-community partnership spirit at the core of Weed and Seed: the development of a comprehensive, multiagency strategy to control and prevent violent crime, drug trafficking, and drug related crime in targeted high-crime neighborhoods; to coordinate and integrate existing and new Federal, State, local, and private sector initiatives, criminal justice efforts, and human services; and to mobilize community residents to assist law enforcement in achieving Weed and Seed objectives. The four Weed and Seed program elements are law enforcement; community policing; prevention, intervention, and treatment; and neighborhood restoration. This case study documents the activities implemented under the Weed and Seed program in Las Vegas and assesses the program's impact at this site. Evaluation methods included onsite observation of program activities; in-person interviews with program staff, key law enforcement personnel, community leaders, service providers, and participants; a review of program documents; a survey of target area residents; and analysis of computerized crime and arrest records. Key implementation issues addressed are the role of the grantee organization, management structure and control, local politics, operational goals, the approach to "weeding," the approach to community policing, and the approach to "seeding." Two years after the implementation of Weed and Seed was a period during which the crime rate remained stable for one of the two target areas. The crime rate dropped from 17.2 to 16 in the first year after Weed and Seed was implemented, followed by a second-year increase to 18.8. In the second target area, there was a steady drop in the crime rate, first from 9.8 to 9.4, and then to 9.2. Explanations for these findings are offered. Findings from a survey of community residents pertain to perceptions of the neighborhood, victimization, police response, community involvement, perceptions of social services and other programs, and perceptions of the Weed and Seed program. 12 exhibits

Date Published: August 1, 1999